I’d Drive 100 Miles (or Less!): Day Trip Destinations

PGrab some snacks, get in the car, and kick off your summer road trip playlist! A day of family fun is just a short drive away.

Claremore: 30 miles from Tulsa*

Perhaps best known as the home of Will Rogers, according to okhistory.org, Claremore is a key stopping point if you’re traveling Route 66 through Oklahoma — or if you’re just looking for a day of fun.

Don’t forget to visit the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, which sits on a hill overlooking the city. Children will especially enjoy dressing up as cowboys and following in the footsteps of Will Rogers by putting on a show!

When you’re done touring the museum, head to the Hammett House restaurant at the bottom of the hill for one of their famous pies.

After enjoying your pie of choice, stop by the JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum, “the largest private collection of firearms in the world”, with over 12,000 firearms and thousands of other historical artifacts exposed.

If you have more time, continue to Foyil, Oklahoma, where you can visit the massive concrete totem poles of Ed Galloway. And say hello to the Catoosa Blue Whale on the way back to Tulsa.

Bartlesville Kiddie Park has been attracting parents of young children to Bartlesville every summer for generations. Here, you’ll find pint-sized rides and incredibly low prices. It’s only open in the evening, so plan for a late return home.

In addition to Kiddie Park, Bartlesville is known for the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, home to an animal barn and mountain man camp, in addition to an impressive collection of Western art and artifacts. On your way to the main buildings, you will come across wildlife such as bison, longhorn beetles, Japanese Sika deer and more.

If you’re hungry, try the Painted Horse restaurant in downtown Bartlesville, which offers a varied (and humorous) menu including The Cluck & Squeal Mac and a Cheesus! (Take the wheel) Burger.

Looking for a perfect moment for a photo? Bartlesville has its own painted bison herd! Find their locations at visitbartlesville.com/bartlesville-buffalo-art-bartlesville-ok-listing-55.

Muskogee: 45 miles from Tulsa

With its Azalea and Renaissance festivals, spring might arguably be the best time to visit Muskogee. However, this nearby town has plenty to offer all year round. From May through September, don’t miss The Papilion at Honor Heights Park – Oklahoma’s only Butterfly House. Besides getting up close to swallowtails and other varieties of butterflies, you can also visit the nearby children’s garden, gift shop and playground.

History buffs will want to visit the Muskogee War Memorial Park. Here you can board and tour the USS Batfish, a WWII submarine, and pay tribute to veterans by walking the Walk of Honor.

Looking for fireworks? The iconic Muskogee Castle pulls out all the stops to put on an incredible selection of fireworks from June 15th through July 4th.

Pawhuska: 56 miles from Tulsa

View of the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve with a bison herd in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Tall grass meadow. Photo credit: Marine2844/Getty

When the Pioneer Woman Mercantile opened in 2016, Ree Drummond fans started flocking to Pawhuska. And for good reason! Le Merc offers a delicious and decadent menu, as well as a selection of fun gifts and a freshly baked bakery.

However, even before the advent of The Merc, Pawhuska was well worth a visit. Home to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, visitors can drive through a wild Oklahoma landscape – and the bison herd that roams there! Walking trails are also available for kids (and adults) who need to stretch their legs.

Other Pawhuska attractions include The Swinging Bridge, described by roadsideamerica.com as “not for nervous pedestrians”; the Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum; and the Osage Nation Museum.

Stillwater: 60 miles from Tulsa

Stillwater is “America’s friendliest college town,” according to visitstillwater.org. The OSU campus is a beautiful place to visit. If you’ve been to OSU, take the kids to your old college haunts, like Eskimo Joe’s and the original Hideaway Pizza!

The Oklahoma State University Botanical Garden is a relaxing place to stroll, take a deep breath, and learn about native plant species. Check the calendar of events for more information on open houses and evening concerts throughout the summer: trumba.com/calendars/okstate-The-Botanic-Garden.

Lost Creek Safari is another popular destination for families. At this exotic USDA-certified animal park, kids can encounter fennec foxes, spider monkeys, tamarins, kangaroos, kookaburras and a host of other creatures up close.

Ponca City: 72 miles from Tulsa

Start your day in the town of Ponca by visiting the museum and the statue of the pioneer woman. The Pioneer Woman statue, including the pedestal, rises 33 feet above the ground; the statue and museum seek to honor the history and influence of women in Oklahoma.

The Pioneer Woman statue was a project of Ernest Whitworth Marland, a well-known lawyer, oilman and politician. The Marland Mansion is another highlight of the town of Ponca, with its Italian-inspired architecture and beautiful grounds.

Located about 8 minutes south of the Woman Pioneer Statue is the Standing Bear Museum and Education Center, as well as a 22-foot statue of Standing Bear, a Ponca chief. Here, you can soak up the sun on the walking trail and learn about Native American heritage and role not just in Oklahoma, but in the United States as a whole.

If you enjoy historic neighborhoods and shopping, plan some time to explore Ponca City’s Main Street.

Oklahoma City Scissor Bridge

Oklahoma City’s iconic Skydance pedestrian bridge. Photo credit: Christina Woods/Getty

Depending on where you are departing from, your journey to OKC may be slightly over 100 miles. But we couldn’t leave it off the list! Make your trip even more exciting by stopping at POPS 66 and the Arcadia Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma. All you have to do is follow the Mother Road!

There’s so much to do in Oklahoma City. Must-see attractions include the new First Americans Museum, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Science Museum Oklahoma, and Myriad Botanical Gardens.

Popular shopping, dining, and activity districts include Automobile Alley, the Paseo District, Adventure District, Boathouse District, and Plaza District, where you’ll find incredible, ever-changing murals.

*Distances are approximate

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